View Full Version : Questions about 5.45mm ammo.
03-29-2004, 05:50 PM
I have a few questions for the myriad of SAR-2/AK-74/etc. owners out there. Just how easy is it to find 5.45x39 ammo for a '74? Is this one of those things that you have to buy a boatload of at a time? Are there any U.S. companies that load it? What are the chances of it drying up? Just how does it compare to the 5.56? I have also heard that the 5.45mm was derived from a Russian Olympic target round- is this true?
03-29-2004, 09:08 PM
I've never had a prob finding it. wolf runs about 109 a case.....saw some at a gunshow saturday for 100.00 good deal because your not paying shipping. I don't think you'll see it go away with all the 74 kits out there. Some U.S. company will start selling reloading components and dies soon I'm sure. Great caliber, low recoil, more accurate then the 47 round, really fun for new shooters to the sport. Don't know about the olympic question.
03-29-2004, 09:15 PM
The 5.45x39 is just the 7.62x39 necked down for a smaller bullet. This was done to make the commie rifles more controllable during automatic fire. I'm not aware of any stateside available 5.45 ammo that is manufactured outside of the former Soviet Union. I doubt that it will dry up though since Russia has been using it for 30 years and continues to do so. The 5.45 is something you have to find at gun shows and on the internet. I haven't seen any in gun stores. However, if you plan a couple of days in advance it is not hard to come by.
Comparison to 5.56:
5.56 is probably more effective on target
5.45 has less recoil
5.45 has more of a tapered case and should be more reliable
The best deal is at gun shows but you have to buy a case of ammo. Cases come in 750 or 1000 rounds. As you can see from these two websites the smaller amounts you buy the more you pay per box.
What are the chances of it drying up?
The first AK rifles chambered for the 5.45x39mm cartridge and Russian ammo for them were first imported in 1997. Neither is "drying up" and ammo is being imported that is mfg. by 4 different Russian ammo plants just for the US market. It took over 10 years from the time the first 7.62x39mm AK rifle was imported till any ammo was made in the USA. Now all major ammo mfgs. in the USA make it. Same 10+ years with the 7.62x25mm,9x18mm,and 7.62x54R. It takes tens of thousands of dollars to have the dies made and set the machines up to make brass and bullets on the high speed machines that the major ammo mfgs. use. So as soon as USA ammo mfgs. see that they will make a good return on their investment they will start producing 5.45x39mm ammo. As soon as the 5.45 ammo dries up there will be all the USA made ammo you want within 6 months.
The 5.45x39mm is not a 7.62x39mm necked down. It is a totally different cartridge. The cartridge that is a 7.62x39mm necked down for .22 caliber bullets is the
220 Russian/5.6x39mm. The case of the 5.45x39mm has the same rim/base diameter as the 9x19mm(.393") and the 7.62x39mm is .443".
The Russians saw how the 5.56x45mm preformed in Vietnam and to keep up with us came out with the 5.45x39mm and the AK-74 rifle to fire it. They were looking to do 3 things,more rounds for the pound,increse hit probility with less recoil,and increse the wounding ability with a light weight bullet at supersonic velosities.
03-30-2004, 06:10 PM
There is no problem with availability of 5.45x39. I can usually find it at gunshows and there are over a dozen(that I know of) websites that you can order from.
My favorite is the 750 pack of Barnaul from Sportsmans Guide. I use one of their $5 off coupons and get it delivered for $70.95. Wolf is good too and I just recently got a deal on 1000 rounds of Wolf so that's what I'm shooting now. I have not seen 5.45x39 in any local stores, but I never buy my plinking ammo locally.
My SAR-2 is my favorite fun gun and the one I shoot most often. I like it better than my AR15's because it's so much easier to clean.
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